Since Rick Nolan has been fiddling with politics since 1975, I’m not so sure he’s one to judge Mills intentions.

What is that old saying about living in glass houses?  For those of you old enough, think back about the stunning lack of work on the range in the 70’s and 80’s and now tell me what Nolan did as a politician in those fine years.  I guess its popular for today’s politicians to pounce on any potential newcomer, regardless of what they haven’t done…..and don’t speak up until it looks like they may lose their coveted seat.

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Steel comment fires up 8th District race

By Brady Slater on Nov 1, 2016 at 6:48 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan (left) and Stewart Mills
A national media report in which Republican Stewart Mills defended Donald Trump’s use of foreign steel raised the hackles of incumbent Democrat Rick Nolan on Tuesday as the hotly contested race for Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District entered its final days.

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A Roll Call report published online on Tuesday morning included the following paragraph: “Mills is quick to say that he didn’t caucus for Trump. But he’s voting for him next week and he defended the real estate mogul’s use of Chinese steel — a point Democrats here have seized on — as a competitive business decision.”

Nolan pounced on the wording, holding a public appearance at the Iron Man statue in Chisholm to condemn Mills’ position.

“It is outrageous that Mr. Mills would support purchasing low-quality Chinese government-subsidized steel and defend it as a ‘competitive business decision’ for millionaires like himself,” said Nolan, who was flanked by union steelworkers, in a news release about the event. “There is a direct link between Chinese steel and our economic struggles on the Range. Mr. Mills clearly cares more about money than the jobs of working men and women.”

The two-time incumbent Nolan and challenger Mills are waging a second-straight toss-up race for the right to represent the 8th District.

More than $19 million — $14 million of it outside money — has been spent on the race, making it the most expensive congressional race in the country, according to statistics published by the Federal Election Commission.

“The fact is, low-quality Chinese government-subsidized steel is a threat to our national economy, national security and Northern Minnesota way of life,” Nolan said in the news release.

Mills, who met workers at the Minntac mine outside Mountain Iron on Tuesday, brushed off the supposed controversy in a statement to the News Tribune.

“It is unfair of Congressman Nolan to attack Donald Trump for allegedly using Chinese steel in one of Trump’s construction projects,” he said. “The actions of a contractor, subcontractor or supplier are not reflective of Trump’s trade agenda.”

Mills compared the use of foreign steel by Trump to the use of a 40-foot piece of Korean steel by a contractor in Gilbert as part of a city-funded project last year.

“Blaming Trump is as silly as Nolan blaming the people of Gilbert for the Korean steel that was used in one their community’s public works projects,” Mills said in his statement. “Congressman Nolan should be ashamed of himself and it’s just the latest sign from a desperate campaign trying to defend its record of job-killing policies that have failed folks in our part of Minnesota.”

While Mills wasn’t directly quoted on the topic in the Roll Call report, his campaign spokesman Troy Young said, “Stewart said something very similar. Not verbatim of course; this was borne from a lengthy conversation with the reporter.”

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